And welcome to the sights and sounds of a new school year. The sharpening of pencils — or, more likely, the clicking of laptop keyboards. The printing of schedules and the combing of campus maps, the desperate search for new classrooms amid a sea of new buildings, the fear factor of half a dozen new professors who look mighty tough to impress.
For all they seem to bear in common — like the shine of new classes and book learnin’ — the first day of college is nothing like other first days of school.
There’s no supply list that includes things like a size-specified box of crayons and tissues for the classroom, just a mountain of books to buy and syllabi to read. Oh, dear freshmen, you’re probably not even sure what syllabi are. (Hint: it’s when you have more than one syllabus, and you will.)
The college experience is the opposite of buying tissues for the class. College is either your tuition dollars paid for it — and you might have heard about it — or you’re getting your own tissues. And for god’s sake, don’t leave them unattended in the library where some other student is likely to snatch them to wipe away the tears produced by a midterm. There will be no one to save you if your alarm clock is set wrong or your laptop crashes while writing a term paper.
It can be tough. But for every ounce of toughness, college will also deliver amazing opportunities, fantastic people and irreplaceable experiences. How you choose to spend your time in the next four years will likely shape your life for the coming decades. So choose wisely.
We know, you’ve heard tons of advice, but we’ve put together this year’s Student Guide with the hope that it will tell you a few things you don’t already know, prepare you for planning out your coming years to make the most of them and help you enjoy the ride along the way. After all, it’s the journey that matters, and here’s to the first day of a trip you’ll never forget.
Just don’t forget to pack your own supplies.